Birth Trauma among neonates admitted to neonatal unit in a tertiary hospital in Addis Ababa

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Background : Birth trauma is a common cause of neonatal morbidity and admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). Though asphyxia together with birth trauma remains among the 10 major causes of neonatal mortality in developing countries, there is limited data in Ethiopia.

Objective : To assess the prevalence and outcome of birth trauma in neonates admitted to Saint Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC).

Methods : Data were collected retrospectively from January 01- Jun 30, 2017 in the NICU of SPHMMC. All term neonate admitted to the NICU during the study period were included in the study. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 and logistic regression was done to determine associated factors with birth trauma.

Result : A total of 717 neonates were included in the study. The prevalence of birth trauma was 12.3%. The most common birth trauma was subgaleal hemorrhage (SGH) 68 (77.3%) followed by soft tissue injury7 (7.9%) and cephalhematoma 6(6.8%). Factors associated with birth trauma were instrumental delivery, malpresentation and long distance (>25km) from the hospital. Elective caesarian section (C/S) and low birth weight (LBW) were protective. Death occurred in 11% of newborns with birth trauma with intractable shock and asphyxia causing half (5 (50%)) of the deaths.

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